Lawsuits alleging injuries caused by Atrium Medical Corp.’s C-Qur hernia mesh products continue to move forward with the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire issuing its first Case Management Order on Jan. 13.
This latest development comes just a month after nearly two dozen federal lawsuits pertaining to Atrium C-Qur hernia mesh devices were consolidated into multidistrict litigation by the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation.
The judicial panel found that all the lawsuits involved similar factual questions. Plaintiffs question whether Atrium was aware or should have known the C-Qur was defectively designed and whether Atrium was aware or should have known that the patch causes an allergic response.
The federal lawsuits, which were pending in several courts across the nation, were centralized in District of New Hampshire with U.S. District Judge Landya B. McCafferty selected to preside over the litigation.
“These common factual issues are sufficiently complex to merit centralized treatment,” the panel wrote in its Dec. 8 transfer order. “Centralization will eliminate duplicative discovery; prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings; and conserve the resources of the parties, their counsel, and the judiciary.”
Plaintiffs claim that Atrium was aware of design flaws that resulted in severe complications but failed to provide a proper safety warning to patients and physicians. They also claim that the hernia mesh causes an inflammatory response that may lead to bowel adhesions, improper fixation and more.
Atrium has a long history of controversy relating to its C-Qur devices. More than three years ago, Atrium issued Class II recalls of thousands of units of C-Qur mesh products because the fish oil gel coating on the mesh could peel when subjected to high humidity.
Some patients claimed that the coating peeled off inside their body and caused adverse reactions and accused Atrium of marketing the mesh as safe despite never conducting any clinical studies.
More cases against Atrium for its C-Qur devices are expected to be filed.